Verna Ruffin Comments on 2013 Educational Study

JACKSON, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Education released it’s 2013 study finding the Jackson Madison County School District needed to improve ways to learn for economically disadvantaged as well as students with disabilities. In regards to the students new superintendent Verna Ruffin had made this statement: “To address the needs of all students in the district, JMCSS will place high emphasis on reading and literacy across the contents (math, social studies, science and electives). Schedules will be revised to accommodate the needs of children enabling them to spend an increased amount of time addressing reading and literacy. We are planning on implementing a phonics program in our elementary schools which will systemically allow us to teach the fundamentals of reading where it is most needed. As well, we are reviewing middle schools and high schools schedules to assure that schedules are based on each student‘s needs. It is also imperative that all schools offer accelerated/advanced classes for students enabling them to advance and achieve at high levels. We must challenge students to aspire for advanced learning and realize that regardless of socioeconomics, they can achieve. Seeking students and encouraging them to stretch themselves academically will require individual attention. This must occur in order to meet students where they are and take them to higher levels of learning. As teachers, administrators and other educators seek to do what‘s best for all children, we must hold ourselves responsible for answering these questions: one space· What do children need to know and learn? one space· How will we know when they‘ve learn it? one space· What will we do if they do not learn it? one space· What will we do if they already know it? Those questions should guide every discussion we have about teaching and learning. It requires us to use data to inform and adjust our instruction as well as to challenge students in a most meaning way which is measurable by student achievement and higher value-added results.”

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